The infamous Korean 10-steps skincare routine was introduced to us in the last five years in which sheet masks were included in its regime and made everyone purchase the product based on their needs. It's easy, practical, and the benefits claimed within became the underlying reason people want to incorporate sheet masks into their skincare routine. Aside from our skincare routine, a lot of people use sheet masks during sleepover time with their girlfriends or on those exhausting days when you want to quickly pamper yourself.
The single-use beauty products have proven to be enormously popular with consumers seeking convenient skincare. However, as the beauty industry grows and releases different products each month, they are somehow missing on keeping a safe line between what's good for our skin and what can be bad for our environment.
The cold sad truth is that the components in sheet masks are non-biodegradable--most masks are made with a blend of synthetic materials like nylon, plastic microfibers, or polyester. Then, there's the packaging pouch that's also made out of plastic. All in all, since it's a single-use product, these sheet masks will only end up in landfills or dumped in sewers which have the potential to clog the pipes and pollute the running water if mixed with other substances.
Yes, biodegradable sheet masks have been invented, yet they're not always better. Some versions are either made of eco-friendly bio-cellulose or synthetic polymers, which are plastic. Some were soaked in serums that are thick with silicones, a class of ingredients that leaves a thin, plastic-y film on the skin's surface to create a 'glow' illusion. This film prevents the supposedly 'biodegradable' bio-cellulose from fully breaking down. Eventually, if these silicone-coated sheet masks enter landfills, they would only leak toxins into the soil.
Since a sheet mask is basically a serum in a form of plastic, it's more sustainable to use a serum with the same ingredients and function your skin needs that come in the form of bottles. Because the bottles are made of glass, they are eco-friendly, last for months, and leave zero wastage of the product.